Gregory Scores 22 Points as Griz Beat Whitworth 94-79

By DAVE GUFFEY for GoGriz.com

Senior guard Jordan Gregory scored a game-high 22 points to lead three of his teammates were in double figures, as the University of Montana Grizzlies defeated the Whitworth University Pirates 94-79 in the debut of first-year UM mentor Travis DeCuire in an exhibition game Monday evening in UM’s Dahlberg Arena.

It was a back-and-forth contest during the first 10 minutes, and the Griz finally took the lead at 17-16 on a three-pointer by sophomore guard/forward Jermaine Edmonds Jr. with 11:36 to go until intermission.

The visitors from Spokane, who were 23-6 last season, took a 14-7 lead with 14:23 to go in the opening half, when senior post Adam Wilks scored on a lay-up. But, Montana out-scored Whitworth 10-2 after Wilks’ bucket, and then took the one-point lead on Edmonds’ trey, and led the rest of the way.

Griz guard Jordan Gregory Photo by Todd Goodrich UMMontana took its largest lead of the contest at 16 points (47-31) right before halftime on a lay-up by junior forward Martin Breunig with 32 seconds to go until the break. The Griz were red-hot from three-point range in the first half, making 8-of-13 (61.5%)treys.

Edmonds, a 6-4 transfer from Diablo Valley College, added 19 points, including 14 in the first half. Also in double figures for the Griz were Breunig, a transfer from Washington, who was a redshirt last season with 16 points, and freshman forward Fabijan Krslovic, a prep signee from Abbotsbury, Australia with 10.

Montana maintained a double-digit lead until late in the game, when sophomore guard Kenny Love scored on a lay-up with 3:15 left to play, cutting the Griz advantage to nine points at 84-75. Gregory made back-to-back free throws after that, though, and UM led by double figures the rest of the way.

Junior guard/forward George Valle led the Pirates with 21 points and he also grabbed 7 rebounds, but he fouled out with 6:13 left to play. Love scored 15 points, while WU sophomore forward Christian Jurlina hauled down a game-high 9 rebounds.

Breunig, senior center Chris Kemp, and sophomore guard Mario Dunn led the Griz with 6 rebounds apiece. Dunn had a game-best 10 assists with just two turnovers, and scored 9 points. Sophomore guard Riley Bradshaw added 8 points for UM.

The Pirates helped their cause by making 30-of-37 free throws (81.1%), as the Griz were called for 29 fouls. Montana was 15-of-25 (60.0%) from the stripe, while Whitworth was whistled for 22 fouls.

Montana hosts Saint Martin’s this Saturday, Nov. 8, in its second and final exhibition game of the 2014-15 season, with tip-off in Dahlberg Arena at 7:00 p.m.
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